Can't blame previous govt, we had full opportunity: Yashwant Sinha on economic slowdown

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Former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Thursday stood firm on his remarks over economic slowdown and said that the previous government can't be blamed for today's mess.

Sinha on Wednesday delivered a blistering criticism of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the state of the economy, prompting a sharp rebuttal from the government.

In a newspaper article headlined, 'I need to speak up now', Yashwant had criticised Jaitley over what he called the 'mess the finance minister has made of the economy' and flayed demonetization and the way the GST had been rolled out.

"We cannot blame the previous governments as we got the full opportunity in our term. People want to get employed but everyone is saying that there are no jobs, Sinha said speaking to ANI.

Stating that he was a supporter of GST, the BJP leader said, "The government was in a hurry to implement it from July. Now, GSTN which is the backbone is failing."

He also said that the demonetization shouldn't have been brought when the economy was weak. "Its (note-ban) effects were yet to subside and GST served as a second big blow," Sinha said.

Responding to top union ministers - Rajnath Singh and Piyush Goyal's defense that the Indian economy is the fastest growing in the world, Sinha said, "They know economy more than me, so they think India is the backbone of world's economy. I politely disagree."

The attack by Sinha, who was finance minister under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government, in a newspaper article has set off a political storm.

BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha also came out in support of his party colleague Yashwant Sinha, saying he was a true statesman and had shown the government the mirror.

Defending government, Yashwant Sinha's son and Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said that some 'sweeping conclusions' were drawn from a 'narrow set of facts', missing the 'structural reforms' transforming the economy.

Sinha, a member of the BJP s 'margdarshak mandal' that was set up in 2014 to guide the party, also said a revival by the time of the next Lok Sabha elections due in 2019 was "highly unlikely" and a "hard landing" appeared inevitable.

As the Congress latched on to Sinha's criticism, the government also said it will 'stay the course' and that it would work to transform the economy.
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Arun Jaitley



Yashwant Sinha

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